MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Davos 2020: The Upskilling Agenda

  • 3m
  • Lynda Gratton
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2020

Glancing at my notes from the World Economic Forum’s meeting at Davos back in 2013, I see that it was dominated by deep concerns about the impact of technology on work. The question was whether technological ingenuity would somehow be the downfall of our human way of living. I don’t think anyone understood the exact mechanisms by which the impact of human technologies would play out, but there were palpable concerns that all might not be positive.

Within a few years, these vague concerns were beginning to take shape. By the Davos meeting in 2017, the consequences of technology on work were becoming clearer, with some labor economists making predictions that millions of people could lose their jobs and could potentially be replaced by AI or robotics. Upskilling to perform the more human aspects of work or adjacent skills, or reskilling to completely different types of work, began to emerge as the only pathways toward ensuring that everyone would continue to have opportunities to work.

About the Author

Lynda Gratton (@lyndagratton) is a professor of management practice at London Business School and director of the school’s Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Companies program. She is coauthor of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity (Bloomsbury, 2016).

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Davos 2020—The Upskilling Agenda